Thomas Pickering - another of our grant recipients. Thanks for your post Tom!
My name is Thomas Pickering, and I’m in my third year studying the recorder at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This involves lots of playing, especially with other early instruments, and lots of practical help and guidance on how to survive in the industry as a classical musician. Obviously more recently times have been tougher since everything is online, and we have had to play over a zoom call, and of course no ensemble playing at all! It can be quite frustrating when zoom automatically filters out your playing, as it deems the sound of the recorder to be unwanted background noise… I’m so looking forward to being back in person and being able to make music with others again.
I have competed in the Hastings Music Festival from a young age, and they have played a huge role in supporting me as a young musician. The grants I have received from the festival have allowed me to purchase instruments, which has been vitally important to my progression. One of the great things about playing the recorder is that you get to play lots of different instruments - I can think of at least 50 distinct and unique types of recorder I have played at Guildhall so far! However, that does mean that if you don’t have the financial means to purchase instruments it can be a big barrier. By being able to buy certain instruments, I have had unlocked to me a whole time period to play from, or many opportunities to take part in projects I would not have been able to previously. If it weren’t for the amazing support from the festival with the various grants I have received, I would have found life very difficult thus far at Guildhall, and I can’t overstate how grateful I am for their support!